If you love a glittering chandelier and a little floral chintz, but aren’t quite on a Hôtel Ritz budget, these pretty Parisian stays might just hit your sweet spot …
Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais
Inspired by the author of The Marriage of Figaro — who lived up the road at no.47, behind one of the city’s most glamorous sets of carriage doors — the Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais is styled in an eighteenth-century manner that can only be described as delightful. The mood is set from the foyer: flower-strewn wallpaper, a working fireplace, rococo furniture including a card table that seems to have been left mid-game, music sheets on the 1792 piano-forte … It’s a joy to behold — and stay in, too.
In the beam-ceilinged rooms that are lit by glowing chandeliers, gilt-edged mirrors and vintage oil paintings adorn the walls, and antique writing desks are propped by windows that are framed by floral curtains.
It’s a wonderful immersion into the spirit of old Marais, once the preferred stomping ground of Parisian aristocrats.
12 Rue Vieille du Temple 75004; from around 110 Euros per night (expect fluctuation for peak times).
Hôtel des Grandes Écoles
Situated on the street where James Joyce wrote Ulysses and Ernest Hemingway lived with first wife Hadley when they were ‘very poor and very happy,’ this hotel is a suitably cheap and cheerful, not to mention inspiring, affair. Wander down a country-like lane, and behind a grove of shade trees and garden fragrant with hydrangea and jasmine you’ll find a vision of a blush-pink pavilion.
Inside, the rooms are wallpapered in florals, and scattered with brocante-style chairs and lace-covered tables. It’s utterly, wonderfully romantic. And if you need to get started on that breakthrough novel of yours, you could not find a more perfect spot.
75 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine 75005; from 140 Euros per night.
Like something from a period drama series, this is a hotel in the grand old sense. The Art Deco-esque interior is all glossy wood panelling and plush red carpet, with an endearing air of faded glamour to it. Take the vintage cage lift …
… and you’ll find generously sized rooms — a commodity that is otherwise rare in Paris, unless you’re willing to spend top Euros.
Here, you’re perfectly positioned to shop at Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, or to wander up towards Montmartre, stopping at Musée Gustave Moreau and Musée de la Vie Romantique on the way.
63 Rue Saint-Lazare 75009; from around 160 Euros per night.
Hôtel Relais du Louvre
There aren’t too many Parisian hotels that have an old-school bohemian air anymore, but this sweet hotel can make that claim literally.
In the cellar of this building was once the Café Momus, which was such a favourite with the Romantics in the first half of the nineteenth century that writer Henry Murger used the location in his Scènes de la Vie Bohème — a storyline we know well today thanks to the opera La Bohème.
These days, the rooms strike a happy balance between new and old, and are much brighter than traditional bohemian digs (no chilly garrets, here). Still, it’s a thrill to live the dream in such a storied space, and you can’t beat it for location. The Louvre is a hop, skip, and jump away, and you’re in easy walking distance of both the Marais and Saint-Germain.
19 Rue des Prêtres Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois 75001; from around 119 Euros per night (with fluctuation depending on day and season).
Popular among Parisians wanting a city break, this highly Instagrammable hotel is ideally located for tourists who want to discover a lesser-known side of Paris for a day or two — say, the famed Gobelins Tapestry Manufactory, the Paris Observatory, the Catacombs, Val-de-Grâce … That is, if you want to leave your room.
The hotel was designed by a former fashion journalist and her trained eye can be seen in the edit of every detail. In fact, you could be in a magazine shoot, so expertly directed is each ‘set’ of a room.
There are splashes of poppy pastels and bursts of floral, unexpected dashes of industrial chic and Scando style, and freshly cut flowers in quirky vases on vintage tables. But despite all the visual stimulation, everything is light and breezy — it’s a modern take on boho that will have you rethinking your own home décor.
9 Rue des Gobelins 75013; from 79 Euros per night.